Residents move out with their belongings and pets from a flooded area in Bangkok
Photo: Reuters courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet
While devastating crop damage in the worst floods for 50 years has already left millions of people in Thailand and Cambodia without food, many more are likely to go hungry as the forthcoming rice harvest fails and rice prices soar.
We are already addressing the food shortages in the affected areas of Thailand and Cambodia, as well as providing families with urgently needed clean water, shelter and sanitation.
But our assessments show that:
if we don't act now, many more poor people will go hungry as the devastating floods cause the rice harvest to fail and rice prices to skyrocket. That is why we urgently need to step up the distribution of seed, fertilizer and replacement agricultural equipment so that crops can be replanted as soon as conditions allow
In Thailand, 2.5 million people are already affected. 1.6 million hectares are under water (12.5% of crop land), resulting in widespread damage to rice fields. In Cambodia, 1.5 million people have been affected and nearly 10% of the country’s rice crop has been destroyed.
The situation in Thailand has gone from bad to worse. Water now covers one third of its provinces and levels are still increasing, with much land completely waterlogged. Many families have been displaced and rescue and relief teams are finding it difficult to reach people in the more remote areas. ActionAid's relief effort is focused on Petchaboon province where there is a huge need for food, drinking water and basic medicine, plus agricultural support; Bangbua community in Bangkok, where water levels are still rising and flat bottom boats and life jackets feature on the list of essentials; and Ayuddhya province, where families are having to stay at temporary shelters or on the second floor of their houses.
In Cambodia, 18 out of 24 provinces have been affected, with Kandal, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Kampong Cham hit the hardest. As well as food and clean water, many people are in need of rehydration solutions and rice seed and livestock are essential so that fields can be transplanted as soon as the water recedes. As part of the relief operations, ActionAid Cambodia is identifying and reaching out to the female-headed households who are most vulnerable.